12.17.2006

HH Com 119

TITLE: A Moment of Silence
GENRE: Chick Palahniuk (this slays me!)

On a cold and bright March morning, Thomas Hart walks into the law office of McKinley Kerr, his former employer, and opens fire.

Caroline Brister, a paralegal, is the only survivor.

Six months later, she and her husband are in a new town, living paycheck to paycheck in a silent apartment.

It's only after her hands go numb that her dead coworkers appear, with answers to questions Caroline doesn't want to ask.

A MOMENT OF SILENCE is one woman's noirish, darkly funny, and sometimes surreal journey from post traumatic stress disorder to discovering that nothing ever really dies - especially the truth.

oh yea.

There's not a chance in the world I'm going to miss asking for or reading pages from anyone clever enough to come up with "Chick Palahniuk". Those two words did it. Without it, it's pretty much the right form but not that enticing. See what two well chosen, clever words can do? Dog, I love good writing!

27 comments:

Writerious said...

Wow!

Wow!

I'm keeping a copy of this one. That's poetry, that is.

Anonymous said...

This one sounds great! I'd buy it.

December Quinn said...

I think this sounds interesting! Spooky and fun.

December Quinn said...

I think this sounds interesting! Spooky and fun.

Adinda said...

This sounds really good.

Anonymous said...

FYI, Chuck Palahnuk is the author of "Fight Club."

"Chick Palahnuk" didn't do anything for me. And the hook was good but it wasn't good enough, so I'd pass.

inherwritemind1 said...

"On a cold and bright March morning..,"

Unless it's important for some reason, I wouldn't open with the weather report. But that's just me.

katiesandwich said...

Can anyone explain to nitwit me what Palahniuk means? I don't get the joke.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant!

I especially like the final paragraph that sums it up in a neat little bow.

Kudos, author! Looking forward to reading your pages, too!

(envy in the #600s)

BernardL said...

I have no idea what slays the Snark about Chick Palahniuk, but the hook is there. If I'd read this on the back of a book cover, I would have at least thumbed through the first few pages.

2readornot said...

*Chuck* palahniuk is an author who writes darkish works like 'Fight Club'.

Anonymous said...

inheritwritemind1: "On a cold and bright March morning," reminded me of "It was a bright cold day in April," the opening of 1984.

puzzlehouse said...

This is a good example of "what makes this book different from 8 million other books I could choose from?" The writer doesn't tell us everything that happens, s/he just gives us a nice, tight glimpse. "Chick Palahniuk" tells me I'm in for a dark and crazy and probably twisted ride; "answers to questions Caroline doesn't want to ask" makes me wonder "what kind of questions?" and "why doesn't she want to know?"

(Chuck Palahniuk wrote FIGHT CLUB.)

Round John Virgin said...

I think Chick Palahniuk is a terrific play on words--kudos!

As for opening with the weather, I like that, too. Remember the opening lyrics of "The Gambler": "On a warm summer's evening, on a train bound for nowhere..." That was good. But here: On a cold and bright morning, things get dark in a big hurry--mm-mmm--to me, that's a great juxtaposition.

Finally, I love the tight writing. Five one-sentence paragraphs. Less is more!

Southern Writer said...

Well done! Good for you, writer!

ello said...

I thought this was great! This is exactly the type of writing I love, dark and humorous. Except, why do you guys always got to be killing off the lawyers? Doesn't anybody love us?

Dave said...

The sentence "It's only after her hands go numb that her dead coworkers appear, with answers to questions Caroline doesn't want to ask." seems to be half of a thought. I think it needs another clause to balance it out. Maybe it's just me. I leaves me longing to find out why she doesn't want to know the truth. OF course, in a hook that might be a good thing.
Something to think about

S. W. Vaughn said...

LOL - Chick Palahnuik. Brilliant!

clerambault said...

This one shows how little you can get away with in terms of synopsis and detail, as long as your language is vivid and specific, and you let us know what's at stake (and for whom). This author was brave and ruthless with her story. Frankly, this might be a little too little for me -- but not for Ms S, so there you go.

HawkOwl said...

I missed the joke and I only read as far as the disgruntled-employee-shoots-up-office moment. It's trite.

#119 said...

Thanks, Miss Snark and everyone. I hope my pages don't disappoint!

Zuleme said...

I like it. Especially the spooky hands going numb. I'd read it.

Virginia Miss said...

"What do you get when Chick Lit intersects Chuck Palahniuk? You get relationship-based fiction with a tough, gritty edge. You get characters who aren't stock; whose relationship to themselves and each other are punctuated by difficult, murky truths and startling self-recognition. This is the stuff of Susan DiPlacido's genre-bending novel, 24/7."

~Renee Nicholson, The Beat

Xiqay said...

This hook sounded boring and trite to me, except for "Chick Palahniuk." And that was clever-made me pause to think of Chuck Palahniuk and think chick lit and wonder about the mesh.

And obviously this deft language was clever enough to get Miss Snark's attention and to overlook the "ghost with an agenda" boring problem.

aries said...

I've agreed with MS's critiques but this one is a real head scratcher. I know MS favors the 'less is more approach' but this hook is really vague. What's funny about PTS? What sorts of questions doesn't Caroline want to answer? I know you aren't supposed to get too detailed in the hook, but a few more here wouldn't have hurt.

pooks said...

The somewhat-inside joke --"Chick Palahnuk"--is a big clue. If you don't get it, this most likely isn't your kind of book. #119 knows her target audience and and was smart and confident enough to go for it. It worked. If Miss Snark didn't know who CH was, well, Miss Snark probably wasn't going to be interested in this book, anyway.

If you don't get the hook here, it's because you weren't the target audience.

At least, that's my take on it.

Nice job.

thraesja said...

I liked the juxtaposition of the bright morning and the massacre. Breaking the paragraph to introduce the protag nice and simply also works for me.

I'm with Dave on the 4th paragraph needing a rework to be complete. I had to read it a few times, and I hate that.

I prefer to see dark comedy for myself rather than to be told something is darkly funny.

It has potential. Best of luck with the pages.